Well we made the decision. If you have been following along with the blog for a while, you may recall that last summer we went camping, only to discover that the tent life was not exactly as we had remembered it. We quickly relocated to hotels as we traveled across this country and that big one to our north. While visiting our son in Portland we started talking about camping alternatives and came across teardrop campers. This prompted a visit to the Aero Teardrop factory which was about 15 miles from Jason's house. This was the first time we had ever seen a teardrop trailer up close and personal. The Aero Teardrop seemed a dream, affordable, towable with our car and very accommodating. Carol and I are a bit above average in many ways, and excel in size. . . so we were curious if we even fit in a teardrop. We fit, and quite comfortably, which made the teardrop even more appealing. Back at Jason's house we spent many hours researching all sorts of teardrops and found out that there are so many great designs and companies that make these little trailers. We discovered a company in Minnesota called Vistabule that was right on the way home. We arranged a tour for the time when we would be in the St. Paul area.
Last year at this time we were looking at Airstreams. The one thing that sold me on the Airstream was the shear quality of the product. Everything is not only thoroughly thought out, but the craftsmanship was there as well. Being the son of a master woodworker and craftsman I have developed a fairly good eye for these things. I am convinced that the Airstream is likely the finest travel trailer made, but they are big and they are expensive, and they require a larger tow vehicle. After our factory visit I am convinced that the Vistabule teardrop is of equal quality, both in design and construction and it can be towed with our Subaru. It is design and craftsmanship that will make a winning product every time. Apple products are proof of this. And there are other examples as well that we can all recognize, the original VW Beetle, the Zippo lighter and others - the Vistabule will live in the company of these products. Over the past 9 months or so we have researched just about every teardrop manufacturer, and there are many who make very good products, each with it's own special personality. The Vistabule had won our affection, as it meets our particular needs in amenity, quality and design.
Several weeks ago we put a deposit down on a Vistabule, and construction has begun on our trailer. Lily, our contact at Vistabule, has been taking good care of us and has been gracious enough to agree to send construction pictures as the Vistabule comes together. The photos here are the first photos we have received of the construction. These are from their facility (Great River Woodworking) in Scandia, MN where the plywood is cut out and finished. These pictures are of our groups trailers being created. From what I understand the trailers are made in small batches so each one can be custom made to the owners specifications. They do not produce stock inventory but rather make trailers as they are purchased so they can address each owners specifications. There are many options available so each one can be quite different and unique.
We expect to take delivery in late May, which of course means that there will be a trip to St. Paul and a learning curve on just about everything from towing (especially backing) and just how to live out of the Vistabule. Our plan is to make a dash out to St. Paul and a more leisurely return trip, camping along the way. Trial by fire. I will be posting here for all to follow along - I will not candy coat anything so when I mess things up, I will be sure to let you know. . .